Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Siblings.  Love one second, rivalry the very next.  Yet siblings are a part of the master plan for a reason.  We learn a lot from our siblings.  We learn how to love.  How to negotiate.  How to stick up for one another.  How to lead.  How to follow.  How to be sneaky.  How to share. How to conspire against Mom.  How to work together to accomplish something really hard.  Even how to go to sleep quietly so mom doesn't have to go back in one more time to separate you.

These two have been sleeping together lately.  It's A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E. They argue and bicker so much during the day that sometimes I wonder if they will grow up hating each other.  We all know families where siblings argue so much when they are little and their relationship never gets past that.  So when I see these two curled up together, not wanting to leave each other's side, I am hopeful.

When I see them working together, I praise them and make sure it's known that I see it and it's good.  When I see them playing together, I let them know how wonderful it is to play with your brother/sister.  When I see Sariah teaching James how to do something - boy does she feel like she's on top of the world!

I love my offspring.

Now...if only I could get them to sleep in a little longer instead of waking each other up first thing in the morning...

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Neglected Domestication

I have got to get my act together this week!  

1. Last week, I did all the laundry...but I didn't put it away.  Hehe!  So I have had piles of CLEAN laundry strewn across the house.

2. I haven't cleaned my house in...I'm not even going to admit.  We always pick up at the end of the day.  But scrubbing toilets and mopping the floors?  That's a different story.

3. I was under the weather Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and somewhat today.  Thus my neglected domestic state.  

4. Jared has done the dishes almost every day this week.  Not complaining!  But he's been a real man by helping me out since I'm just not feeling the greatest.

5. I only exercised 2 days last week.  Shameful.

But I have a very cute and sweet son who loves to hide in my laundry basket while I take a shower and get dressed for the day.  Sometimes, he hides in there and pops out like a Jack-In-The-Box right as I'm hopping out of the shower.  He thinks it's quite funny.  Me?  Not so much.

Now that I'm feeling better, it's time that my domestic area get put back together.

1. Exercise every day.  Curves T, Th, S.  Jog M, W, F.

2. Laundry (done AND put away!) on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

3. Clean the kitchen and family room on Thursday.  Clean the bathrooms and bedrooms on Friday.  Why Friday, you ask?  Because Sariah is in charge of cleaning her own bathroom and bedroom, and she can do this after school on Friday.

4. Grocery shop on Saturday.

5. Date to see Jeff Dunham on Saturday with my bacon bringer.  I've had the tickets for several months and I can't wait!!!

I love that our children don't care if our toilets are scrubbed, or if their laundry is sorted just right, or even if they have mac and cheese or grilled chicken for dinner.  Isn't it wonderful to be a wife and a mom, and have a domestic area to call yours?  To be in charge of?  And to neglect when you want??

Saturday, September 8, 2012


Have you ever known someone who is good at anything they do?  School.  Crafts.  Cooking.  Sewing.  Singing.  Being tender with their children.  Finding the positive in people.  Multi-tasking.  Reading their scriptures.  Painting their nails.  Feeding their kids a good breakfast.  Playing an instrument.  Making friends. Being able to lose weight.  Budgeting.

I'm not.  There are two things that I know I do really well: bake, and play the piano.  Those two things come very naturally to me, and I feel good about saying I am good at those two things.

There are many other things that I'm alright at, but it takes a lot of work and practice!  When I was called in by our bishop a few years ago, and asked to play the organ for the ward...I knew I was in trouble.  I didn't know how to play the organ.  And in fact, they only asked me out of sheer desperation - they had no one and they knew I would be willing to give it a go.  But inside...I panicked.

I asked them to give me a key to the building, and a couple weeks to learn how, and I went to work.  I went up to the church every day, two tiny children in tow (James was not yet born so it was just Sariah and Emerson).  I learned how.  I wasn't all that great, but I was someone who could play so I agreed to it.

Fast forward to now.  I am a rotating organist - meaning, I play every 3 months.  We are lucky enough to have 3 people in our ward now who can play so I get to share this responsibility.  But you know what?  It still doesn't come easily.  I have to practice and practice and practice.  I take this very seriously because a good organ player can really set the tone for the meeting.

This morning was no exception.  I was up at the church, practicing.  Once I was done practicing, I hopped over to the piano to practice some music I am going to be playing for a fireside and a bassoonist.  Once I was on the piano, I saw this lovely sight::

Sariah is 5, and at the age where she's a real trooper.  She goes with me just about everywhere because she minds, doesn't throw fits in public anymore, and loves to help.  So when I said I was off to practice the organ and to the grocery store, she was in the car with her seatbelt on before I even had slipped on my shoes.  She's sneaky like that!

Last Sunday, she even sat with me up on the organ while I played.  She LOVED being up there with me.  She watched my fingers and feet move.  She watched the stops change with the mood of the song.  She loved seeing everyone in the congregation from the high point of the organ.  And...she was silent and still.  The perfect companion!

I want Sariah to know the value of practice.  When one practices something, they become better, and the attribute becomes solidified within them.  I hope that I am able to show her that even though you are afraid to do something, practice makes it easier to do.  My palms still get sweaty and I have to wipe them on my lap right before every song.  And this will be the case for probably as long as I live!!  But practicing makes it easier to get through.  Sariah sees that - she sees that it is not easy for me, yet I push through it.  There will be times in her life where things won't come easily and she'll have to push through.  This is life, and there is a purpose for that to be.

"Keep your chin up, Mom," is what she told me as I shook my hands in frustration after I biffed up a couple chords right in a row.  I tell her that once in a must be sticking.  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Namesake

My little James.  He is so sensitive, loving, snuggly, sweet, smart, wise, quirky, etc., etc., etc.  He loves his mother...but that is kind of an understatement.  Any moment he gets, he will curl up with me.  He loves to be held, to be snuggled, to be kissed, to be carried, to be...well, anything that has to do with contact with his mother.

James has slowly adjusted to Sariah being gone during the day.  He went from having Sariah and Emerson home all the just him by himself!  He LOVES it!  To play with all the toys all by himself, without a sibling to bicker with?  He is in heaven!

But then he realized that his sister was gone all day.  Each day when we pick Sariah up from school, the first question he asks when she gets in the car is, "Sariah - can I touch you????"  He misses his sister, but loves the time that we get together.

James is in his own class this year - preschool with Miss Malia!  He feels so grown up, wearing his backpack and helping me make his lunch.  He is learning, growing, and finally gets to play with boys his own age!

As you can see in this last picture, it's a long day without his sister.  Classically, he falls asleep in the car when we go to pick her up from school.  

I am so lucky to be a mom.  I have 2 beautiful, healthy, wonderful children.  Each one teaches me something new every day, and I love the stages they are at.  I have always tried to enjoy each stage, and this one is particularly fun.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Aprons, Dishes, and Sass - Oh My!

Sariah has loved learning about service and loves doing things for other people.  To her, service means being sneaky!!  She stole my apron, and put the dishes away without me knowing it and she thought that was the absolute best thing ever.  She has even taken a particular interest in helping me make dinner and in cooking.

Next: laundry!

NOTE: Don't you all wish we could look so cute, posing in an apron?